The 14th annual Peak Pitch event hosted by Newark Venture Partners took place February 27 - 28 at Mountain Creek Resort in Vernon, NJ, where over 40 startup founders and 40 early stage investors met to network, pitch and ski. The off-site, slope-side, overnight event aims to better connect the east coast startup community, and offers “the ultimate elevator pitch” where founders of startups are asked to make their pitch to investors during a 6 minute ski-lift ride.
“Peak Pitch is everything typical investor events are not: It’s casual, it’s focused on organic networking, and it’s fun,” said Thomas Wisniewski, Managing Partner of Newark Venture Partners. “The event is built on the principle that like-minded innovators and investors don’t need a whole lot of structure to get to the business of pitching and investing. We give participants the means to do cool activities and expand their network, and instead of getting one pitch on a stage, they get 24 hours of pitches, a few good runs down the mountain, and as many new relationships as they can handle.”
This year’s event included a corner dedicated to the Passage to Profit podcast, where founders and investors had a chance to talk strategy and pitches for a recorded show. Thursday night participants enjoyed tubing, followed by dinner, a poker tournament, firepit gatherings, and a whiskey tasting. Friday was full of pitching, skiing, and a final award ceremony. Founders were awarded trophies for “Best Founder,” “Best Wipe Out” “Most Determined” “Night Owl,” and the “Elon Musk Award.”
Lauren Foundos, Founder and CEO of FORTË, a technology company that installs hardware and software in boutique fitness studios enabling them to seamlessly livestream to FORTË's subscription service or through their white-label platform took home the “Best Founder” award. She said, “Peak Pitch is an incredible opportunity for founders to get beyond a simple pitch. Instead of 5 minutes on a stage, or 30 minutes in a conference room, it’s 2 days of real, honest conversations and a chance to show investors that my company and my team are going to go the distance.”
Other participating startups included Swimply, the “AirBnB for swimming pools,”; DynamiCare Health, an evidence-based digital health company empowering people to change their relationship with addictive substances through motivation and accountability; and PeduL, a one-stop shop for scholarships with a universal application that also lets businesses tap into a younger and more diverse talent pool. Well known VC funds, along with top early stage investors attended, including Amazon Alexa Fund, Greycroft, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, ffVC, Tech Council Ventures, XRC Labs, SOSV, New York Angels, 37 Angles and more.
Sumeet Shah, an investor with Swiftarc Ventures and a Peak Pitch regular, said, “Peak Pitch is a great event that blends a more natural way for founders and VCs to connect, talk shop, and learn more from each other. It brings in a high quality group of investors and it’s definitely become one of the strongest events for the New York City startup ecosystem. Plus, you can't go wrong getting pitched on a ski-lift!”
The event was sponsored by Cooley, Lowenstein Sandler, VMS, Google Cloud, AWS, TotemVC, Wiggin and Dana, Brex, Audible, Prudential, New Jersey Tech Council, New York Angels, Greycroft, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, ffVC, Tech Council Ventures, and Startup One Stop.